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Steven Spence

Steven Spence Verified in Google 

nerdy; stargazer; legend in my own mind; wannabe photographer, may post occasional spider pictures - you have been warned!

Occupation: IT Manager

Followers: 20,293

Cream of the Crop: 08/14/2012

Added to CircleCount.com: 08/05/2011That's the date, where Steven Spence has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

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reshares per post
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 48

posted image

2017-05-17 05:59:19 (48 comments; 5 reshares; 262 +1s; )Open 

Dinosaur Day?

I saw on Twitter someone posting about Dinosaur Day. I never heard of that before but I'm onboard. Heck, every day should be Dinosaur Day!

Say hello to Monoclonius nasicornus found in the Red Deer River Deposit, Alberta, Canada. This specimen is exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in München, Germany.


Photo: not 100% true to what you see or photograph, as I had to make geometric (perspective) adjustments. I had to photograph at an angle due physical constraints on where I take a picture and still get the whole specimen. Still this should be close enough.

#dinosaurs #science #museum

Most reshares: 19

posted image

2017-04-03 06:45:25 (35 comments; 19 reshares; 570 +1s; )Open 

Science Literacy Starts with Accessibility

By Shayna Keyles
Outreach Coordinator
Science Connected


Science is a broad term that covers numerous disciplines, from paleontology and particle physics to medicine and mechanical engineering. Nutritional recommendations, architectural limitations, and football-throwing specifications are all guided by science—as are birth, death, and everything in between. So where does Science Connected (http://www.scienceconnected.org/) fit in with all that?

Science is vast, and for many around the world, it’s a foreign concept. Many factors contribute to its inaccessibility: teaching methods or curricula that are less than ideal; prohibitive expenses of higher learning; difficulties in understanding scientific concepts or applying them to real life. Reports and findings are frequently written with technical,jar... more »

Most plusones: 570

posted image

2017-04-03 06:45:25 (35 comments; 19 reshares; 570 +1s; )Open 

Science Literacy Starts with Accessibility

By Shayna Keyles
Outreach Coordinator
Science Connected


Science is a broad term that covers numerous disciplines, from paleontology and particle physics to medicine and mechanical engineering. Nutritional recommendations, architectural limitations, and football-throwing specifications are all guided by science—as are birth, death, and everything in between. So where does Science Connected (http://www.scienceconnected.org/) fit in with all that?

Science is vast, and for many around the world, it’s a foreign concept. Many factors contribute to its inaccessibility: teaching methods or curricula that are less than ideal; prohibitive expenses of higher learning; difficulties in understanding scientific concepts or applying them to real life. Reports and findings are frequently written with technical,jar... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2017-05-29 19:27:15 (12 comments; 0 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

Weekend cook out

Wild salmon and tuna steaks marinated in a mixture of: brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, chili flakes, and sesame seeds.

Asparagus roasted with thyme, butter, salt, and a dash of red wine. Side dish of risotto. Almost forgot a few grilled veggies too.

Dessert: simple, but very chocolatey French cake topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, and crowned with a few fresh raspberries.

Yes, you do want to accept that invite to come over when I cook out. ;-) As Saruman once said, "it would be wise,my friend." The hobbits certainly enjoy second breakfast when they are passing through....

Note: I have posted, reposted, and hopefully posted for the last time because for some reason the photos were uploading in thumnail size. 

Weekend cook out

Wild salmon and tuna steaks marinated in a mixture of: brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, chili flakes, and sesame seeds.

Asparagus roasted with thyme, butter, salt, and a dash of red wine. Side dish of risotto. Almost forgot a few grilled veggies too.

Dessert: simple, but very chocolatey French cake topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, and crowned with a few fresh raspberries.

Yes, you do want to accept that invite to come over when I cook out. ;-) As Saruman once said, "it would be wise,my friend." The hobbits certainly enjoy second breakfast when they are passing through....

Note: I have posted, reposted, and hopefully posted for the last time because for some reason the photos were uploading in thumnail size. ___

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2017-05-29 06:51:24 (18 comments; 8 reshares; 197 +1s; )Open 

Another Pair

Love is in the air on my trees. The ladybirds are coming for the aphids and finding mates. 

Another Pair

Love is in the air on my trees. The ladybirds are coming for the aphids and finding mates. ___

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2017-05-26 21:34:07 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

New Feature on Google?

I'm not sure how long I've had this. It's helpful for me so far. Probably has some downsides too but so far I like it.

read about it here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/26/15701778/google-personal-tab-search-results-gmail-photos-images-maps-news-filter 

New Feature on Google?

I'm not sure how long I've had this. It's helpful for me so far. Probably has some downsides too but so far I like it.

read about it here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/26/15701778/google-personal-tab-search-results-gmail-photos-images-maps-news-filter ___

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2017-05-26 08:32:58 (7 comments; 7 reshares; 122 +1s; )Open 

Integration is Key to Consciousness

Our experience of the world is unified: we aren’t conscious of the separate sides of the visual field, for example. It is the brain’s unification of information from senses, memories, motivations, and actions that Oizumi and Tononi propose as defining what it is to be conscious. Being unconscious—during sleep or anesthesia, for example—is a breakdown of this integration that can be seen in certain dynamics of brain activation patterns.

h/t +Kate Stone 

Integration is Key to Consciousness

Our experience of the world is unified: we aren’t conscious of the separate sides of the visual field, for example. It is the brain’s unification of information from senses, memories, motivations, and actions that Oizumi and Tononi propose as defining what it is to be conscious. Being unconscious—during sleep or anesthesia, for example—is a breakdown of this integration that can be seen in certain dynamics of brain activation patterns.

h/t +Kate Stone ___

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2017-05-25 09:51:47 (11 comments; 2 reshares; 115 +1s; )Open 

Predators and Prey

These two ladybirds ( Harmonia axyridis commonly referred to as Harlequin or Asian ladybird beetles) moved around amongst their prey while mating. The larger female carried the male and even stopped for a snack.

Aphids and ladybird beetles live in a classic predator-prey relationship with the prey population going up first and the predator population following with a lag. Aphids respond to predation in their colonies by having the next generation disperse by migrating to new sites, but eventually the predators catch up. Since the beetles are able to fly they can scout many sites and discover new colonies.

About the harlequin ladybird beetles: I certainly prefer the native species (Adalia bipuncta "two spotted" and Coccinella septempunctata "seven spotted") but the harlequins are all over in the wild. They were first observed in... more »

Predators and Prey

These two ladybirds ( Harmonia axyridis commonly referred to as Harlequin or Asian ladybird beetles) moved around amongst their prey while mating. The larger female carried the male and even stopped for a snack.

Aphids and ladybird beetles live in a classic predator-prey relationship with the prey population going up first and the predator population following with a lag. Aphids respond to predation in their colonies by having the next generation disperse by migrating to new sites, but eventually the predators catch up. Since the beetles are able to fly they can scout many sites and discover new colonies.

About the harlequin ladybird beetles: I certainly prefer the native species (Adalia bipuncta "two spotted" and Coccinella septempunctata "seven spotted") but the harlequins are all over in the wild. They were first observed in numbers in Germany in 2002 and have outcompeted local species for the last decade. I did purchase 200 native larvae and set them out in my garden a few days before these mature harlequin ladybird beetles showed up. Hopefully some of the native species will mature and continue to reside here.

Side note: +I am not Alice - if you're still around, I might know more about ladybird beetle mating than bees. :-)

#prey #predators #ladybird #beetles___

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2017-05-22 18:11:19 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

Crane flies enjoying a "romantic" moment

Seen today on a meadow during my lunch break. Crane flies are in the family Tipulidae but as there are around 4000 species worldwide with 140 in Germany, I'm not sure which one this is. I believe I can narrow this down to a genus of Nephrotoma (Krähenschnaken) but that's a best guess.

They don't bite people; they live off of nectar and water.

This picture is also (like the bee I shared earlier today) a smartphone photo cropped to isolate the subject.

Crane flies enjoying a "romantic" moment

Seen today on a meadow during my lunch break. Crane flies are in the family Tipulidae but as there are around 4000 species worldwide with 140 in Germany, I'm not sure which one this is. I believe I can narrow this down to a genus of Nephrotoma (Krähenschnaken) but that's a best guess.

They don't bite people; they live off of nectar and water.

This picture is also (like the bee I shared earlier today) a smartphone photo cropped to isolate the subject.___

posted image

2017-05-22 17:44:50 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

Red-Tailed Bumblebee

Looks a bit more like an orange or rust color to me but apparently the common name is "red-tailed bumblebee" (Latin Bombu. lapidarius ; German Steinhummel ). I happened it noticed it during my walk at lunch. Very gentle. It let me get close with my smartphone. Unfortunately the smartphone doesn't focus fast so I had to back off a bit and take a quick one. I cropped it to give you an impression.

I really am happy with the fields and meadows around here. Very insect friendly!

Red-Tailed Bumblebee

Looks a bit more like an orange or rust color to me but apparently the common name is "red-tailed bumblebee" (Latin Bombu. lapidarius ; German Steinhummel ). I happened it noticed it during my walk at lunch. Very gentle. It let me get close with my smartphone. Unfortunately the smartphone doesn't focus fast so I had to back off a bit and take a quick one. I cropped it to give you an impression.

I really am happy with the fields and meadows around here. Very insect friendly!___

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2017-05-21 14:03:41 (22 comments; 1 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

Not your everyday prom picture

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39989986

Not your everyday prom picture

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39989986___

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2017-05-21 13:00:38 (37 comments; 6 reshares; 218 +1s; )Open 

Red chestnut (horse chestnut) blossom. The weather forecast was wrong. We have beautiful, mild weather today with just a few clouds. 

Red chestnut (horse chestnut) blossom. The weather forecast was wrong. We have beautiful, mild weather today with just a few clouds. ___

posted image

2017-05-17 05:59:19 (48 comments; 5 reshares; 262 +1s; )Open 

Dinosaur Day?

I saw on Twitter someone posting about Dinosaur Day. I never heard of that before but I'm onboard. Heck, every day should be Dinosaur Day!

Say hello to Monoclonius nasicornus found in the Red Deer River Deposit, Alberta, Canada. This specimen is exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in München, Germany.


Photo: not 100% true to what you see or photograph, as I had to make geometric (perspective) adjustments. I had to photograph at an angle due physical constraints on where I take a picture and still get the whole specimen. Still this should be close enough.

#dinosaurs #science #museum

Dinosaur Day?

I saw on Twitter someone posting about Dinosaur Day. I never heard of that before but I'm onboard. Heck, every day should be Dinosaur Day!

Say hello to Monoclonius nasicornus found in the Red Deer River Deposit, Alberta, Canada. This specimen is exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in München, Germany.


Photo: not 100% true to what you see or photograph, as I had to make geometric (perspective) adjustments. I had to photograph at an angle due physical constraints on where I take a picture and still get the whole specimen. Still this should be close enough.

#dinosaurs #science #museum___

posted image

2017-05-11 09:59:56 (8 comments; 1 reshares; 58 +1s; )Open 

Sunny days have been infrequent lately. This striking tree brought me a smile on a busy day.
Have a great Thorsday!

Sunny days have been infrequent lately. This striking tree brought me a smile on a busy day.
Have a great Thorsday!___

posted image

2017-05-06 21:33:51 (8 comments; 1 reshares; 42 +1s; )Open 

American Gods

Normally I'm always a season behind the hot shows on US-TV. Not this time. Since Amazon offers this one, I get to watch each episode as it comes out. A rare treat.

American Gods is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman works. I'm delighted with what I saw in the opening episode. Shadow and "Mr. Wednesday" are cast perfectly. Old "Mr. Wednesday" is my kind of conman. epic even. ;-) 

American Gods

Normally I'm always a season behind the hot shows on US-TV. Not this time. Since Amazon offers this one, I get to watch each episode as it comes out. A rare treat.

American Gods is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman works. I'm delighted with what I saw in the opening episode. Shadow and "Mr. Wednesday" are cast perfectly. Old "Mr. Wednesday" is my kind of conman. epic even. ;-) ___

posted image

2017-05-04 18:41:11 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

Canadian "Care Package"

Wow! what a nice surprise to come home to tonight. +Shawna Mac, sent me some lovely items from frozen Nova Scotia. Now I can proudly wear a Canadian flag patch, I have an ammonite, some lens filters, lovely post cards, a package of Canadian maple leaf sweets, and honest to goodness blueberry honey!

Thank you very much for brightening my day! you shouldn't have, but now that the goodies are here, I'm keeping them :-)

Canadian "Care Package"

Wow! what a nice surprise to come home to tonight. +Shawna Mac, sent me some lovely items from frozen Nova Scotia. Now I can proudly wear a Canadian flag patch, I have an ammonite, some lens filters, lovely post cards, a package of Canadian maple leaf sweets, and honest to goodness blueberry honey!

Thank you very much for brightening my day! you shouldn't have, but now that the goodies are here, I'm keeping them :-)___

posted image

2017-05-01 19:12:42 (16 comments; 0 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Could use some recent music recommendations to invigorate my playlists.

Pop, Rock are good. I do like classical so something instrumental might be good too. Not so hot on country or metal. (sorry +Darryl Woodbury but Clutch is about as hard as I rock). Some "recent" groups I've enjoyed: Imagine Dragons , Fallout Boy, X-Ambassadors, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Kate Tempest, and You, Me at Six . Maybe that gives an idea. Love "classic rock" from the 60s through the 80s too, but as mentioned, I'm looking for recent music to add to my playlists.

thanks in advance for your recommendations!

Just to make it more interesting / head-scratching for non-German speakers, here's a fun one from die Ärzte called Männer und Frauen from 2012. (Peter Fox has some that are even more fun but I've shared them before). 

Could use some recent music recommendations to invigorate my playlists.

Pop, Rock are good. I do like classical so something instrumental might be good too. Not so hot on country or metal. (sorry +Darryl Woodbury but Clutch is about as hard as I rock). Some "recent" groups I've enjoyed: Imagine Dragons , Fallout Boy, X-Ambassadors, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Kate Tempest, and You, Me at Six . Maybe that gives an idea. Love "classic rock" from the 60s through the 80s too, but as mentioned, I'm looking for recent music to add to my playlists.

thanks in advance for your recommendations!

Just to make it more interesting / head-scratching for non-German speakers, here's a fun one from die Ärzte called Männer und Frauen from 2012. (Peter Fox has some that are even more fun but I've shared them before). ___

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2017-04-30 16:24:00 (14 comments; 0 reshares; 87 +1s; )Open 

This bumblebee flew in my open window by for a visit and then couldn't figure out how to go back outside. I shot a few quick photos then helped it back outside. 

This bumblebee flew in my open window by for a visit and then couldn't figure out how to go back outside. I shot a few quick photos then helped it back outside. ___

posted image

2017-04-30 16:21:29 (12 comments; 1 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

Asking Canon photographers for advice on lenses

I'm thinking of going to full frame sometime this year (waiting on Canon 6D MkII to make a decision: assuming my pocketbook allows it). In the meantime I'm thinking about lenses.

I have 3 that I'm happy with:

24mm pancake : very good for the price
100mm macro : excellent optics (I should have gotten the IS version, but I do ok with this one even though I shoot handheld); even makes a pretty decent portrait lens.
100-400mm II IS: really delighted with the quality at any focal length

My main walkabout is a 15-85 mm. It's definitely a step up from the old kit lens I had (18-135 mm version 1). Still I feel "meh" about it.

The one I'm really not happy with is the Canon 50 mm 1.4. It just does not deliver what I was hoping for from a 1.4 lens. Stopped down to... more »

Asking Canon photographers for advice on lenses

I'm thinking of going to full frame sometime this year (waiting on Canon 6D MkII to make a decision: assuming my pocketbook allows it). In the meantime I'm thinking about lenses.

I have 3 that I'm happy with:

24mm pancake : very good for the price
100mm macro : excellent optics (I should have gotten the IS version, but I do ok with this one even though I shoot handheld); even makes a pretty decent portrait lens.
100-400mm II IS: really delighted with the quality at any focal length

My main walkabout is a 15-85 mm. It's definitely a step up from the old kit lens I had (18-135 mm version 1). Still I feel "meh" about it.

The one I'm really not happy with is the Canon 50 mm 1.4. It just does not deliver what I was hoping for from a 1.4 lens. Stopped down to 2.0 I can nail focus but I don't feel excited about the image, the bokeh, or the colors. I bought the 1.4 a few years ago as an upgrade over the 1.8 without breaking the bank, but it just doesn't seem much better to me other than build quality.

What I'm thinking about (usable on my current 7DMkII and future full frame(TBD)):

1. a better 50mm 1.4 (Sigma Art? Zeiss? other?)
2. a good 85mm 1.x (Canon? Sigma? Zeiss? other?)
3. a decent walkabout for the full frame. (24-105 kit? something else?)

So to those of you who are photographers and have recommendations based on experience with Canon crop or full frame, I'd love to hear your thoughts, esp. about the 50mm 1.4 and better alternatives.

Photo: well you have to have a photo to get a post noticed. A bumblebee wandered in while I had my window open and couldn't figure out how to get out...___

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2017-04-28 17:07:11 (37 comments; 3 reshares; 54 +1s; )Open 

Definitely worth a read.

Meanwhile, a cream tea is what you might think a biscuit is, which in the UK is a sweet food. Do not put gravy on it. Also what you think of as gravy is in fact some sort of sausage jizz, and what you call cookies are actually biscuits.

Definitely worth a read.

Meanwhile, a cream tea is what you might think a biscuit is, which in the UK is a sweet food. Do not put gravy on it. Also what you think of as gravy is in fact some sort of sausage jizz, and what you call cookies are actually biscuits.___

posted image

2017-04-27 18:47:16 (13 comments; 9 reshares; 78 +1s; )Open 

On any given day, about 90,000 kilograms of dust and small rocks hit the Earth. What happens when something larger is on a collision course with Earth?

Asteroid Hunters by Carrie Nugent was quite an enjoyable read. It's short, informative, and quite relevant as the recent fly-by of "2014 JO25", an asteroid with a diameter of 650 meters demonstrated.

If you've ever been interested in how scientists really detect potential planet (or hemisphere) killer, or how they might deflect them then this is an excellent book to start with.

read more on +GotScience.org  (includes link to a TED Talk on the subject).

On any given day, about 90,000 kilograms of dust and small rocks hit the Earth. What happens when something larger is on a collision course with Earth?

Asteroid Hunters by Carrie Nugent was quite an enjoyable read. It's short, informative, and quite relevant as the recent fly-by of "2014 JO25", an asteroid with a diameter of 650 meters demonstrated.

If you've ever been interested in how scientists really detect potential planet (or hemisphere) killer, or how they might deflect them then this is an excellent book to start with.

read more on +GotScience.org  (includes link to a TED Talk on the subject).___

posted image

2017-04-25 20:48:05 (14 comments; 7 reshares; 135 +1s; )Open 

+Shayna Keyles  writes about the recent March for Science.

Fortunately, much of the public does care about facts. Part of the ideology of this march was that science is a field based on fact, and marching for science is thus marching for truth and integrity. Others also marched for conservation, climate protection, environmental regulation, education reform, workplace equality, reproductive rights, and countless other crucial issues—all of which overlap with science.

+Shayna Keyles  writes about the recent March for Science.

Fortunately, much of the public does care about facts. Part of the ideology of this march was that science is a field based on fact, and marching for science is thus marching for truth and integrity. Others also marched for conservation, climate protection, environmental regulation, education reform, workplace equality, reproductive rights, and countless other crucial issues—all of which overlap with science.___

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2017-04-25 20:39:19 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 35 +1s; )Open 

They're after me lucky charms on to me

Is it a wayward piece of the aurora borealis? Or maybe a plane’s contrail? A rarely seen strip of a proton aurora? Or is it a comet’s tail?

Actually, it’s none of the above. Scientists are still working to figure out exactly what they’re dealing with.

And until that day, they’re going to call it Steve.

h/t +Rikki Kuykendall

They're after me lucky charms on to me

Is it a wayward piece of the aurora borealis? Or maybe a plane’s contrail? A rarely seen strip of a proton aurora? Or is it a comet’s tail?

Actually, it’s none of the above. Scientists are still working to figure out exactly what they’re dealing with.

And until that day, they’re going to call it Steve.

h/t +Rikki Kuykendall___

posted image

2017-04-18 21:22:20 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

Enjoying the original Fast and Furry-ous

It's hard to believe that Wile E. Coyote made his debut in 1949. This animation classic really is called Fast and Furry-ous.

You can view it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ep2kp_fast-and-furry-ous_fun (7 minutes). 

Enjoying the original Fast and Furry-ous

It's hard to believe that Wile E. Coyote made his debut in 1949. This animation classic really is called Fast and Furry-ous.

You can view it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ep2kp_fast-and-furry-ous_fun (7 minutes). ___

posted image

2017-04-15 07:27:33 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 41 +1s; )Open 

Breakfast in a skillet

Hashbrown potatoes
Chopped onion
Chopped Black Forest ham
3 eggs (beaten)
2 handfuls of grated cheese (cheddar or whatever you like)
Salt, black pepper, red pepper

Breakfast in a skillet

Hashbrown potatoes
Chopped onion
Chopped Black Forest ham
3 eggs (beaten)
2 handfuls of grated cheese (cheddar or whatever you like)
Salt, black pepper, red pepper___

posted image

2017-04-13 18:07:54 (22 comments; 9 reshares; 125 +1s; )Open 

Very interesting article by +Neha Jain  on the use of natural anti-microbal "cocktails" by ants.

To test if ants enhance the antimicrobial properties of resin, Chapuisat and his team enclosed worker ants with resin and nest materials, such as twigs and small stones, for two weeks. They found that resin that had been in contact with the ants provided greater protection against the fungus Metarhizium brunneum—which can be deadly—than resin kept away from ants.

Please read the full article on the link on +GotScience.org .

Very interesting article by +Neha Jain  on the use of natural anti-microbal "cocktails" by ants.

To test if ants enhance the antimicrobial properties of resin, Chapuisat and his team enclosed worker ants with resin and nest materials, such as twigs and small stones, for two weeks. They found that resin that had been in contact with the ants provided greater protection against the fungus Metarhizium brunneum—which can be deadly—than resin kept away from ants.

Please read the full article on the link on +GotScience.org .___

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2017-04-11 21:13:06 (21 comments; 0 reshares; 83 +1s; )Open 

Ketan wanted liver. I managed to convince him lamb might be a better alternative.

Ketan is a Steinadler (Latin Aquila chrysaetos , English "Golden Eagle": the North American one is a bit smaller subspecies). I got to meet and hold him for a few minutes at a nearby falconry show.

The feet have a heck of a grip but we got along fine. He was a good companion for a few minutes but I did notice the weight (~4kg). Definitely an unexpected highlight of the past weekend. 

Ketan wanted liver. I managed to convince him lamb might be a better alternative.

Ketan is a Steinadler (Latin Aquila chrysaetos , English "Golden Eagle": the North American one is a bit smaller subspecies). I got to meet and hold him for a few minutes at a nearby falconry show.

The feet have a heck of a grip but we got along fine. He was a good companion for a few minutes but I did notice the weight (~4kg). Definitely an unexpected highlight of the past weekend. ___

posted image

2017-04-10 21:48:03 (14 comments; 1 reshares; 85 +1s; )Open 

Optimist's Reward

Planting in the Fall pays off. Greetings from my garden to you. Have a good start to the week!

Optimist's Reward

Planting in the Fall pays off. Greetings from my garden to you. Have a good start to the week!___

posted image

2017-04-10 20:57:39 (8 comments; 7 reshares; 124 +1s; )Open 

Buchfink / Common Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs Male. seen near Burg Hohen Neuffen, Germany.

Not an ideal position for this pose due to the distracting twigs but I take what the animals give me. At least you can see the coloration and the beak well. 

Buchfink / Common Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs Male. seen near Burg Hohen Neuffen, Germany.

Not an ideal position for this pose due to the distracting twigs but I take what the animals give me. At least you can see the coloration and the beak well. ___

posted image

2017-04-08 10:45:44 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 75 +1s; )Open 

Fantastic photo by +Rob Patterson​. H/t to +Dryade Geo​.

___Fantastic photo by +Rob Patterson​. H/t to +Dryade Geo​.

posted image

2017-04-07 09:49:42 (5 comments; 0 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

The doctor had time to see me. Past, present, and future. Valar morghulis.

The doctor had time to see me. Past, present, and future. Valar morghulis.___

posted image

2017-04-06 20:57:38 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

Excellent salad with scallops and shrimp.

Excellent salad with scallops and shrimp.___

posted image

2017-04-05 19:52:28 (7 comments; 0 reshares; 68 +1s; )Open 

Another interesting flower I saw in the neighborhood. I enjoy a day with a bit of sunshine and the chance to capture impressions of color and beauty.

Have a great downhill on second half to this week: we're more than halfway through! 

Another interesting flower I saw in the neighborhood. I enjoy a day with a bit of sunshine and the chance to capture impressions of color and beauty.

Have a great downhill on second half to this week: we're more than halfway through! ___

posted image

2017-04-04 06:30:17 (10 comments; 2 reshares; 81 +1s; )Open 

I think this is a type of magnolia. Seen a few streets over in my neighborhood. 

I think this is a type of magnolia. Seen a few streets over in my neighborhood. ___

posted image

2017-04-03 20:36:43 (9 comments; 2 reshares; 52 +1s; )Open 

It's not a question of whether de-extinction will happen only when

Recently a great book from +Bloomsbury Publishing arrived and it was my pleasure to read it for our GotScience.org audience.

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher is a highly enjoyable read looking at extinct species, DNA, and asking the question not only IF we can bring back an extinct species but SHOULD we?



+Kate Stone, +GotScience.org 

It's not a question of whether de-extinction will happen only when

Recently a great book from +Bloomsbury Publishing arrived and it was my pleasure to read it for our GotScience.org audience.

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher is a highly enjoyable read looking at extinct species, DNA, and asking the question not only IF we can bring back an extinct species but SHOULD we?



+Kate Stone, +GotScience.org ___

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2017-04-03 06:51:32 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 56 +1s; )Open 

More of the daisy

This is a follow-up to the daisy post from a few days ago. I shared one with the flower just beginning to unfold and the pink petal ends were very prominent. Here's what it looks like fully unfolded. The pink is subtle actually.

Have a great start to the week!


Photo details: For those of you interested in the photo, I'm working on my wide open aperture technique. This was photographed at f2.8 on my 100mm macro. You can see that the in focus area is still reasonably sharp (the detail is a 1 to 1 crop at 100%). What I'm really going for though is the "dreamy", narrow focus.



More of the daisy

This is a follow-up to the daisy post from a few days ago. I shared one with the flower just beginning to unfold and the pink petal ends were very prominent. Here's what it looks like fully unfolded. The pink is subtle actually.

Have a great start to the week!


Photo details: For those of you interested in the photo, I'm working on my wide open aperture technique. This was photographed at f2.8 on my 100mm macro. You can see that the in focus area is still reasonably sharp (the detail is a 1 to 1 crop at 100%). What I'm really going for though is the "dreamy", narrow focus.

___

posted image

2017-04-03 06:45:25 (35 comments; 19 reshares; 570 +1s; )Open 

Science Literacy Starts with Accessibility

By Shayna Keyles
Outreach Coordinator
Science Connected


Science is a broad term that covers numerous disciplines, from paleontology and particle physics to medicine and mechanical engineering. Nutritional recommendations, architectural limitations, and football-throwing specifications are all guided by science—as are birth, death, and everything in between. So where does Science Connected (http://www.scienceconnected.org/) fit in with all that?

Science is vast, and for many around the world, it’s a foreign concept. Many factors contribute to its inaccessibility: teaching methods or curricula that are less than ideal; prohibitive expenses of higher learning; difficulties in understanding scientific concepts or applying them to real life. Reports and findings are frequently written with technical,jar... more »

Science Literacy Starts with Accessibility

By Shayna Keyles
Outreach Coordinator
Science Connected


Science is a broad term that covers numerous disciplines, from paleontology and particle physics to medicine and mechanical engineering. Nutritional recommendations, architectural limitations, and football-throwing specifications are all guided by science—as are birth, death, and everything in between. So where does Science Connected (http://www.scienceconnected.org/) fit in with all that?

Science is vast, and for many around the world, it’s a foreign concept. Many factors contribute to its inaccessibility: teaching methods or curricula that are less than ideal; prohibitive expenses of higher learning; difficulties in understanding scientific concepts or applying them to real life. Reports and findings are frequently written with technical, jargon-filled language that can shut out even the most curious lay reader.

According to the National Science Foundation, only 21 percent of 12th grade students (https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/sei/edTool/data/highschool-06.html) perform at or above grade level in science. While on the surface that sounds like 79 percent of students are just having difficulty solving chemical equations or reciting the Krebs cycle, it really means that over three-quarters of all 12th graders don’t have a firm enough grasp on the earth sciences to understand the causes of climate change or its harmful effects. It means that high schoolers don’t have sufficient understanding of what makes up the food they eat, how exercise helps the body, or how the reproductive system works.

That’s where Science Connected comes in. This nonprofit exists to make science more accessible by creating equal access to science education, responsible science journalism, and readily-available research. When science is accessible and available, science literacy goes up, and with increased science literacy comes a more informed, more engaged, and more responsible citizenry.

Access to science means many things:

● Easy-to-read, well-researched information
● Hands-on experiences that don’t require lab access or expensive materials
● Nearby science programs and activities within an engaged community
● Educational resources that bring more science into classrooms

Science Connected improves accessibility to science in all these areas. Through the organization’s flagship publication, GotScience Magazine (http://www.gotscience.org/) , the team works closely with researchers, journalists, universities, and industry leaders to provide cutting-edge research findings to people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as publishing classroom materials for teachers to use for free.

As a member of the Citizen Science Association, Science Connected also promotes community-organized projects and independent experimentation. Crowdsourced research, individual experiments, and self-published materials are all essential contributions to greater science literacy.

Science Connected is running an IndieGogo campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/science-connected-bring-science-to-your-screen-education/x/15498581) to expand its free online magazine, GotScience.org, and to continue making science more accessible to learners of all ages.

Running an open-access magazine requires writers, editors, bandwidth, and public relations, as well as ongoing relationships with science journalists, researchers, and media organizations. While many of the contributing writers and editors volunteer their time, donations are still important to maintain the organization’s infrastructure. Here’s what funds raised through the Indiegogo campaign will be used for:

● Membership in scientific organizations to make sure sources are all accurate
● Writing stipends for GotScience journalists and researchers
● Maintaining the Science Connected and GotScience websites

An assortment of thank-you gifts have been prepared for campaign supporters. For a donation of $5, you’ll get a social media shout-out. For $10 to $150, the range of gifts includes handwritten thank-you notes, exclusive photographic prints, stickers, mugs, and stainless steel water bottles. A $250 donation brings you all of the above and a highly visible, public thank-you on the website.

This is an incredibly important campaign, especially in this uncertain era of science skepticism, threats to public education, reduced funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and an unfortunate distrust of expertise. With only a month of the campaign left, Science Connected needs to raise $3,000 to meet the goal. Every dollar helps. Your contribution doesn’t only help Science Connected—it helps everyone with a passion for learning about science.

Donate now: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/science-connected-bring-science-to-your-screen-education/x/16142831#/

___

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2017-04-02 14:02:11 (17 comments; 5 reshares; 90 +1s; )Open 

Simply understanding the scientific principles involved allows one to apply them, even with a naked eye. For example, coaches can evaluate whether speed athletes in football or track are getting enough knee lift for the impact at touchdown to hit high speeds

by +Emily Rhode 

Simply understanding the scientific principles involved allows one to apply them, even with a naked eye. For example, coaches can evaluate whether speed athletes in football or track are getting enough knee lift for the impact at touchdown to hit high speeds

by +Emily Rhode ___

posted image

2017-04-02 10:28:41 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 48 +1s; )Open 

There used to be a topic called #TulipSunday but I think one of the main contributors / curators left GPlus (sadly). Not sure if it is running this year. Regardless, I wish you all a beautiful Sunday and hope you have sunshine and flowers today!

+Eustace James, +Marilyn Benham 

There used to be a topic called #TulipSunday but I think one of the main contributors / curators left GPlus (sadly). Not sure if it is running this year. Regardless, I wish you all a beautiful Sunday and hope you have sunshine and flowers today!

+Eustace James, +Marilyn Benham ___

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2017-04-02 09:54:05 (16 comments; 1 reshares; 54 +1s; )Open 

Omega 13

At least these blossoms remind me of it.

This plant isn't native to here. I have tentatively identified it as an "Oregon grape" ( Mahonia aquifolium ). It's in a garden a few houses down the street from me. I hadn't noticed it before. Interesting blossoms.

About the photo:
downsized a bit but still 4k territory so you can zoom.

I'm working on a my open (or close to it) aperture technique. When I shoot wildlife I can't do this but open aperture looks good for portraits. I want to get a full frame camera and a great 85mm lens later this year and try my hand with people. Until I get a human model I'm doing a little practice with stationary objects. Challenge mode: I photograph handheld and don't have image stabilization (I was too cheap to spring for that back when I bought the lens). 

Omega 13

At least these blossoms remind me of it.

This plant isn't native to here. I have tentatively identified it as an "Oregon grape" ( Mahonia aquifolium ). It's in a garden a few houses down the street from me. I hadn't noticed it before. Interesting blossoms.

About the photo:
downsized a bit but still 4k territory so you can zoom.

I'm working on a my open (or close to it) aperture technique. When I shoot wildlife I can't do this but open aperture looks good for portraits. I want to get a full frame camera and a great 85mm lens later this year and try my hand with people. Until I get a human model I'm doing a little practice with stationary objects. Challenge mode: I photograph handheld and don't have image stabilization (I was too cheap to spring for that back when I bought the lens). ___

posted image

2017-04-01 15:20:18 (5 comments; 0 reshares; 27 +1s; )Open 

Waffles

300 g flour (I used spelt)
~45 g brown sugar
~10g baking powder
2 eggs
125 g butter - melted
vanilla - I have a little grinder, but vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, whatever you like works equally well
(optional - a capful of Amarretto for the nice almond flavor)
1 pinch of salt
1 cup of milk

1. sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
2. add in the eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla / amaretto
3. melt the butter
4. stir together just a little
5. add in milk - you may need a bit more or a bit less. stir until mixed
6. I like to grind up a bit more vanilla
7. let stand a bit (an hour is great but if you are like me and ain't got time for that then 10 minutes works too)

Make some waffles and enjoy life.

I'm sure you have great ideas for toppings. This time mine were... more »

Waffles

300 g flour (I used spelt)
~45 g brown sugar
~10g baking powder
2 eggs
125 g butter - melted
vanilla - I have a little grinder, but vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, whatever you like works equally well
(optional - a capful of Amarretto for the nice almond flavor)
1 pinch of salt
1 cup of milk

1. sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
2. add in the eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla / amaretto
3. melt the butter
4. stir together just a little
5. add in milk - you may need a bit more or a bit less. stir until mixed
6. I like to grind up a bit more vanilla
7. let stand a bit (an hour is great but if you are like me and ain't got time for that then 10 minutes works too)

Make some waffles and enjoy life.

I'm sure you have great ideas for toppings. This time mine were blueberries and fresh strawberries.
___

posted image

2017-04-01 15:08:59 (5 comments; 0 reshares; 26 +1s; )Open 

Another improvised dish

Turkey
cayenne pepper
brown sugar
salt
Asian noodles
1 head of broccoli
3 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1/2 onion
garlic
oyster sauce
water (300 ml)
sesame seeds
brown sugar
sesame oil if possible; if not whatever you like

Step 1: chop everything up

Step 2: throw veggies into skillet and cook them until they get nice color but are still crispy; veggies includes garlic in my book.

Step 3: put veggies in a bowl to the side

Step 4: clean skillet; add oil; throw in chopped up turkey. season with spices (3 pinches of salt, a teaspoon or so of brown sugar, cayenne pepper.

Step 5: when the turkey looks cooked on all sides you can sprinkle some sesame seeds and cook a bit longer

Step 6. add in water and Asian noodles; boil and stir... more »

Another improvised dish

Turkey
cayenne pepper
brown sugar
salt
Asian noodles
1 head of broccoli
3 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1/2 onion
garlic
oyster sauce
water (300 ml)
sesame seeds
brown sugar
sesame oil if possible; if not whatever you like

Step 1: chop everything up

Step 2: throw veggies into skillet and cook them until they get nice color but are still crispy; veggies includes garlic in my book.

Step 3: put veggies in a bowl to the side

Step 4: clean skillet; add oil; throw in chopped up turkey. season with spices (3 pinches of salt, a teaspoon or so of brown sugar, cayenne pepper.

Step 5: when the turkey looks cooked on all sides you can sprinkle some sesame seeds and cook a bit longer

Step 6. add in water and Asian noodles; boil and stir frequently

Step 7: when the noodles have absorbed the water, turn down the heat. mix in veggies

Step 8: sprinkle with more sesame seed, oyster sauce, a dash or two of soy sauce, grind up some red pepper or use red pepper flakes

Step 9: time to eat___

posted image

2017-04-01 14:57:42 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 33 +1s; )Open 

Beans, Sausage, Rice Dish

This past week I wound up working from home, so I improvised some meals for lunch. This particular meal was inspired by red beans and rice but doesn't have so many beans. As always I'm a sort of "throw it together" kind of cook so use the recipe at your own risk.


Ingredients

3 stalks of celery chopped up
1 onion chopped up
1 green bell pepper chopped up
some garlic - depends how much you like.
cayenne pepper
2 bouillon cubes
6 cups of water (1.5 liters)
rice
celery salt
brown sugar
3 sausages - I used 1 "cabanosa" and 2 "kielbasa" < neither were original but the German supermarket versions. close enough for this >
kidney beans
threw in some leftover peas and corn too.
A little wine - whatever is open
oil / butter... more »

Beans, Sausage, Rice Dish

This past week I wound up working from home, so I improvised some meals for lunch. This particular meal was inspired by red beans and rice but doesn't have so many beans. As always I'm a sort of "throw it together" kind of cook so use the recipe at your own risk.


Ingredients

3 stalks of celery chopped up
1 onion chopped up
1 green bell pepper chopped up
some garlic - depends how much you like.
cayenne pepper
2 bouillon cubes
6 cups of water (1.5 liters)
rice
celery salt
brown sugar
3 sausages - I used 1 "cabanosa" and 2 "kielbasa" < neither were original but the German supermarket versions. close enough for this >
kidney beans
threw in some leftover peas and corn too.
A little wine - whatever is open
oil / butter
thyme

Step 1 - chop it all up
Step 2 - throw the celery, bell pepper, and onions into a skillet. cook in oil (or butter). season with salt, a dash of brown sugar, thyme, and cayenne pepper. As you notice the veggies beggining to sizzle throw in a bit of wine (if you have some already open)
Step 3 - after the wine has mostly cooked off pour in the water (I assume your skillet holds this much - if not you can go to step 4) throw in 2 bouillon cubes. boil and stir for a few minutes
Step 4 - empty the skillet of veggies and broth into a big pot. If your skillet was too small for the water and bouillon you could just do that part of Step 3 now. Let the pot simmer.
Step 5 - clean skillet
Step 6 - heat skillet with oil, throw in sausages, brown a bit.
Step 7 - add sausages to the veggies in the simmering pot
Step 8 - add kidney beans (be sure to drain)
Step 9 - cook some rice.
Step 10 when the rice is done it's time to chow down. 1 scoop of rice for 1 ladle of this concotion out of the simmering pot.

Note: this will get more flavorful the longer it cooks (or the more times it is reheated).

___

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2017-03-31 22:40:30 (13 comments; 3 reshares; 81 +1s; )Open 

There is a flower within my heart
Daisy, Daisy
Planted one day by a glancing dart
Planted by Daisy Bell
Whether she loves me or loves me not
Sometimes it's hard to tell
Yet I am longing to share the lot
Of beautiful Daisy Bell

Photo: daisies in my yard. working on my technique. Hopefully this will transfer to people and make them look good too. 

There is a flower within my heart
Daisy, Daisy
Planted one day by a glancing dart
Planted by Daisy Bell
Whether she loves me or loves me not
Sometimes it's hard to tell
Yet I am longing to share the lot
Of beautiful Daisy Bell

Photo: daisies in my yard. working on my technique. Hopefully this will transfer to people and make them look good too. ___

posted image

2017-03-31 22:17:14 (33 comments; 9 reshares; 190 +1s; )Open 

eXtinction-Files: (not quite Mulder) I would like to believe

It would be wonderful if this animal isn't extinct but the odds are against it. However scientists may be able to de-extinct this and other animals like mammoths within a few years to a decade. Should they?



http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/30/522091683/back-from-the-dead-reported-sightings-fuel-hope-for-return-of-tasmanian-tigers?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=science

eXtinction-Files: (not quite Mulder) I would like to believe

It would be wonderful if this animal isn't extinct but the odds are against it. However scientists may be able to de-extinct this and other animals like mammoths within a few years to a decade. Should they?



http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/30/522091683/back-from-the-dead-reported-sightings-fuel-hope-for-return-of-tasmanian-tigers?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=science___

posted image

2017-03-30 16:48:22 (32 comments; 17 reshares; 273 +1s; )Open 

This makes me very happy!


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indochinese-tigers-ultra-rare-species-thailand-discovered-miracle-east-jungle-freeland-panthera-a7656206.html

This makes me very happy!


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indochinese-tigers-ultra-rare-species-thailand-discovered-miracle-east-jungle-freeland-panthera-a7656206.html___

posted image

2017-03-30 06:59:52 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 53 +1s; )Open 

First Cherry Blossoms

The first cherry blossoms are opening up on my trees now. I'm afraid a recent frost might have damaged them but these look alright to me. We'll see as more open up. 

First Cherry Blossoms

The first cherry blossoms are opening up on my trees now. I'm afraid a recent frost might have damaged them but these look alright to me. We'll see as more open up. ___

posted image

2017-03-30 06:54:41 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 33 +1s; )Open 

First tulips

I was wrong. I thought I wouldn't have the first tulips or cherry blossoms until April. I got a few already yesterday.

Why do I have only partial tulips on this photo? Because I wanted to look at them differently this time. 

First tulips

I was wrong. I thought I wouldn't have the first tulips or cherry blossoms until April. I got a few already yesterday.

Why do I have only partial tulips on this photo? Because I wanted to look at them differently this time. ___

posted image

2017-03-30 06:23:56 (12 comments; 5 reshares; 92 +1s; )Open 

Grape hyacinths (?) and a honey bee - by +Martin Cooke : please plus his original so he knows you like it!

#beeThursday___Grape hyacinths (?) and a honey bee - by +Martin Cooke : please plus his original so he knows you like it!

posted image

2017-03-29 15:59:11 (20 comments; 7 reshares; 154 +1s; )Open 

Who was T. Rex's father?

+David Blagic  writes about potential ancestors to Tyrannosaurus on +GotScience.org .

Who was T. Rex's father?

+David Blagic  writes about potential ancestors to Tyrannosaurus on +GotScience.org .___

posted image

2017-03-26 10:57:59 (6 comments; 1 reshares; 91 +1s; )Open 

Looking for love

This male wild bee (the white "beard" is the give-away on this species) is hanging out where the females will build a nest.

This is some type of a "Mason Bee" (Mauerbienchen). I think it is an Osmia cornuta but my bee-fu is not strong enough that I'm 100% certain of that. 

Looking for love

This male wild bee (the white "beard" is the give-away on this species) is hanging out where the females will build a nest.

This is some type of a "Mason Bee" (Mauerbienchen). I think it is an Osmia cornuta but my bee-fu is not strong enough that I'm 100% certain of that. ___

posted image

2017-03-25 09:59:37 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

from the BBC. Not anything really new but still interesting for cat owners / cat lovers.

https://youtu.be/qeUM1WDoOGY

from the BBC. Not anything really new but still interesting for cat owners / cat lovers.

https://youtu.be/qeUM1WDoOGY___

posted image

2017-03-24 17:36:12 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 62 +1s; )Open 

"Feather Detail"

h/t to +I am not Alice where I saw that today's #joinindaily by +Johnny Wills has the theme #featherdetail

This is one of those pics (just a crop from a downsized version) I took because I liked the details but never figured I'd have a use for.

Have a great weekend!

"Feather Detail"

h/t to +I am not Alice where I saw that today's #joinindaily by +Johnny Wills has the theme #featherdetail

This is one of those pics (just a crop from a downsized version) I took because I liked the details but never figured I'd have a use for.

Have a great weekend!___

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